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Truckers from both coasts head to Midwest to relieve propane shortage

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It's truckers to the rescue as grain farmers in the Upper Midwest seek relief from a propane shortage that's holding up the harvest for some.

An official with one propane distributor tells the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead his company is calling in truck drivers from the East Coast, the West Coast, and everywhere in between as it works to relieve the shortage.

The propane shortage is the result of a distribution problem, not a supply issue.
As this year's later, wetter crop is harvested, propane is in high demand to power the dryers farmers use to get their corn and soybeans ready for market.

Lately, suppliers have been unable to keep up with that demand. The Forum reports that's leaving some farmers with an unhappy choice. They can put wet grain in storage and hope it doesn't spoil. Or they can leave their crop in the field and hope it doesn't freeze before more propane arrives.

The shortage has led to some emergency measures. Last week the governors of Midwestern states including Minnesota suspended regulations that normally limit the hours truck drivers can spend on the road. Gov. Dayton's emergency order applies only to drivers transporting propane, MPR reported.

And it will take quite a few of those drivers to deliver all the propane needed across the region. According to Corn & Soybean Digest, it takes a commercial dryer at a grain elevator only four hours to burn through a semi-load of propane.

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